What Is a Smart Home?
Smart home products are devices that have connectivity built into them. This connectivity is the ability to connect devices with others using technology such as wifi. Once your devices are connected you can control them via remote or other smart devices such as smartphones or hubs.
What products are available?
Smart Home technology has become incredibly popular in the last 10 years. More and more companies have decided to invest in producing smart products. Not only can these products modernise a home, but they can also make everyday tasks easier and more convenient for the user.
What may be a simple task for some, can also be a tricky one for others, making every day more of a challenge. With smart home products, this is not the case. Many tech companies are producing products specially designed to assist all kinds of consumers from those with physical or mental disabilities, to those who simply want to modernise their home. Therefore most smart devices on the market are for everyone.
There are also companies really testing the realm of possibilities when it comes to smart tech. These companies are investing time and money, as well as hiring the top brains to uncover great solutions for those who need specialist equipment. There really is something for everyone.
Having said this, in this particular article we will be focusing on the mainstream products that we see every day, either online or in high street tech stores.
Here’s a list of mainstream products that are readily available in the smart form:
- Thermostats – We Recommend – Tado
- Speakers – We Recommend – Amazon Echo
- Lights – Which we sell here – Ajax Online
- Smoke alarms – We Recommend – Nest
- Door locks – We Recommend – Yale
- Doorbells – We Recommend – Ring
- Robotic vacuum cleaners – Deebot
- Garage doors – We Recommend – Chamberlain
- Curtains and blinds – which we sell here – Ajax Online
- Carbon monoxide detectors – We Recommend – Nest
- Motion detectors – We Recommend – Neos
- Security cameras – We Recommend – Nest
- Ovens – We Recommend – Bosch
What Features Are Available with These Smart Devices?
Many people underestimate how many features are available when using smart products, and many consumers are missing out on features that they did not know were possible.
The features available do depend on each individual product and may well vary at times. However, in 2020 the basic level of smart features alone is vast, with more and more features becoming available.
Here is a list of the top 10 most popular features that are currently available from the smart devices that are on the market:
1. Control via smartphone, tablet or smart home hub – dedicated apps and voice command
2. Scheduling – nearly all smart products can be scheduled to turn on at a time you choose.
3. Setting scenes – smart lighting
4. Dimming and tuning – smart lighting
5. Automation – with sensors or triggers such as movement or temperature
6. Control device away from home via smartphone
7. Get live feeds to your phone or tablet – cameras, doorbells etc.
8. Reports on your devices – energy reports from thermostats etc.
9. Use remote controls to control your devices.
10. Automatically call for help when safety is compromised – Doorbells, security cameras, alarms etc.
These features can make a world of difference to people who have disabilities. They no longer need to struggle with certain tasks and they can be in complete control of their environment without the need of additional support.
It used to be that smart products were seen as luxury items that would cost a lot of money to enjoy. However, more businesses are realising the importance of these smart products and are stepping up to make them more accessible.
One of the most popular ranges in smart home technology is smart lighting. Not only can having smart lighting features be fun but they are also one of the best examples of how smart tech is making everyday tasks easier. Using a remote or smartphone can make this task quick and simple without the need to even move. And let’s not forget that with a smart hub, you can even use voice commands! Why do it at all when Alex can do it for you?
How Do I Use These Features?
Let’s explore the smart control systems available.
Smart hubs such as Alexa and Google home offer a range of additional features such as voice command. With voice command, you can ask the hub to turn on devices, play music, search the internet, help you shop and more.
For those who struggle to use their hands, smart hubs offer a great solution. Assistants such as Alexa can follow voice commands and carry out tasks for you.
Smart hubs can also connect to other devices so you can control everything from one place. Need to answer the door? “Alexa open the door”. Want to know your thermostat reading? “Alexa read me my thermostat report”.
Smart home systems such as this offer both fun and function which is why so many people love them.
3.5 billion people across the world now use smartphones. Not only are they great for calls, social media and browsing the web, they also offer up the perfect control centre for smart home devices.
With a wide range of applications available, it’s easy to utilise the features that your smart devices have to offer. Not only can you control everything at the swipe of a screen, but you can take your control centre with you where you go, and control your home while you’re away.
This offers a great advantage to those with restricted mobility because you have everything you need in the palm of your hand.
Voice control is also an option with assistants such as Siri and Google assistant. You can set your phone tasks, set up automation and gather data on your devices.
Similarly to smartphones, the option of using remote controls can be a great solution, as you can control your system at the touch of a button. Remote controls can also be connected to controllers which will enable automation ad scheduling. This is a great option for those that do not have smartphones or don’t like the idea of using a smart home hub.
Remote controls are also a fantastic solution for children. Being able to control our environment is an important skill for any child to learn and the use of remote controls can enable children, and ensure they do not miss out due to having a disability.
In order for some products to work effectively in terms of being smart, they may require additional controllers. It’s with these controllers that you access the smart features of your product. A good example of this is LED strip lighting. LED strips require a controller in order to have the smart capability.
Therefore it’s our recommendation that you always check what is required for each product before you buy.
With the right controller, you can connect to a remote, smartphone, or smart hub. Alternatively, you can enter your automation straight onto the controller itself.
Which Products Should I Try First?
When choosing your smart products it’s worth determining which features and devices are going to best suit your needs. If you suffer from restricted mobility, you may wish to invest in products that offer the best control system for you.
Whatever your needs may be, there are numerous products on the market that can work together. Even brands that do not sell a particular product, will often sell items that work with systems for all devices.
At Ajax Online we sell a range of smart lighting products as well as Smart Curtains and Blinds. Our products work with systems including Alexa, Philips hue, SmartThings, Google Home and more. Therefore whatever additional products you purchase outside our store, our products that will work alongside them.
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